Falcons to storm Georgia’s Pro Day

Could Georgia fullback Brannan Southerland be the next Bulldog drafted by the Falcons?

In each of the last three NFL drafts, the Falcons have selected a player from the University of Georgia.

In 2006, quarterback D.J. Shockley was selected in the seventh round with the 223rd pick overall.

In 2007, tight end Martrez Milner was selected in the fourth round with the 133rd pick overall.

Last season, running back Thomas Brown was selected in the sixth round with the 172nd overall pick.

Before Shockley was picked, the franchise has stayed away from Georgia players for more than 10 years. They had taken Mitch Davis in the fourth round (118 overall) of the 1994 draft.

The Falcons brain trust will descend on Athens tomorrow for Georgia’s pro day.

Much of the fuss will be over quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock is set visit. ESPN and Scouts Inc.’s Todd McShay is also set to visit. Our buddy Steve Wyche from NFL.Com is coming too.

With two legitimate first round picks, all 32 teams in the NFL will be represented.

The Falcons will not be in the hunt Stafford or Moreno, who figure to be long gone by the 24th pick.

However, there are some other Bulldogs who might entice general manger Thomas Dimitroff and the rest of the personnel department.

Cornerback Asher Allen, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, defensive tackle Corvey Irvin, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, fullback Brannan Southerland and defensive end Jarious Wynn all participated in the NFL scouting combine and will get a chance to improve their workouts at the Pro Day.

Which Bulldog do you see the Falcons taking? (I think Southerland might be able to help in short yardage situations). Which Bulldog do they need to take? (Allen is a corner. They need a corner). Or do they need to go back to the old days and say away from the Bulldogs?

112 comments Add your comment


March 18th, 2009
12:27 pm

Do not see them drafting any Dawgs, but if any of those you mention are not drafted I would expect a free agent offer to participate in camp (Jarious Wynn) and see what happens.


March 18th, 2009
12:33 pm

Ellerbe and Southerland would be solid selections. I’d take Ellerbe in the third or later. He’s a player at a position of need. And Georgia has produced a few good linebackers over the years.

Southerland after the fifth.


March 18th, 2009
12:48 pm

I would take Allen have good bALL skill to compete in the NFL.


March 18th, 2009
1:02 pm

If Corvey Irvin is there in the 5th than take him. He’d be a great pickup at that point. Southerland in the 6th or Wynn in 7th wouldn’t be bad either.

Phillip Sharp

March 18th, 2009
1:08 pm

Asher Allen would seem to make some sense. As gp295 said, he has good ball skills. Also, Asher Allen has very good speed and is a great kick returner/punt returner.

Area Sports Fan

March 18th, 2009
1:18 pm

I love the Dawgs and I hope Asher does well, but I really see him as the NFL equivalent of David Irons, the Falcon CB that came out of Auburn a few years ago. Good ball skills, talented, but small. In the right situation Asher could be a contributor, but I don’t think he makes an impact at the pro level. I like the kid and I hope I’m wrong.


March 18th, 2009
1:23 pm

Sutherland could be the eventual replacement for the overpaid Ovie Mughallie and Ellerbe would be a solid selection in the 4th or later.

I would like to see us sign Angelo Crowell- if he isnt to expensive he would be a nice addition.
That would give us a Peterson/ Lofton/ Crowell linbacking corp….We could then pick up a nice line backer in the draft to eventually replace peterson.

I would trade the 1st for a 2nd /4th

If we found a team willing to trade up then we could go straight defense

2- LB /DE Maybin ….L English…groom to take over for peterson
2- DT Brace or Hood
3- SS R.Johnson/ Chung
4- CB Macho Harris….agressive corner with size…or Asher Allen (.Release david irons)
4- TE Coffman /Ingram
5- NT Sammie Lee hill/ Myron Pryor/ Terrence Knighton….big body to play behind Trey Lewis
6- DE- Lawrence Sidbury or LB Jason Williams

We need DLine help in the worst way- Im not satisified with K Moorehead / Jason jefferson etc we need to upgrade.

No trade available…. No problem

!st- SS Delmas or Sean Smith – hybrid Cb/ Safety …I would like to get Smith to match up with the Musshin Muhamad/ Colston types

2nd- NT Ron Brace

3rd- LB Freeman / Z Follett

4th- TE- Coffman/Casey /Ingram

5th- Sammie Lee Hill/ Roy Miller

5th- LB Jason Williams /Asher Allen

6th OT Alex Boone


March 18th, 2009
1:23 pm

please lord don’t take asher allen…there is no reason to leave school early and get selected in the fifth round. MoMass and Southerland would look great as dirty birds


March 18th, 2009
1:39 pm

I’m a UGA student and draft nerd. I’d love to be able to watch the pro day from afar. Standing next to all those NFL people would be cooler, but I doubt I can even watch from afar, so I have no delusions of being able to watch up close. Does anyone know if fans can watch from afar?


March 18th, 2009
1:40 pm

So, I’m not the only one who thinks Ovie is “ovie-rated”. Thanks, Rich. Southerland might be a good choice. .good blocker, which we currently don’t have at fullback, and a good receiver, which we currently don’t have at fullback. But Ovie was good on Playboy radio last year, I’ll give him that.


March 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

Ellerbee and Allen would be the best selections for the Falcons out of Athens. Just adding depth to the Defensive side of the Ball. All of the Safety misers give it up, I did, look for Reshad Johnson or Chung to get the call in the 2nd round.

Pat Connors

March 18th, 2009
1:41 pm

These players are all studs. I know you can’t draft all dogs, but the key here is drafting the right dawg. If you take Sutherland,( great heart, great motor) you’d have to eventually get rid of Muhelli. But he;d be the best one to take. If you look at all the great running backs there’s always a certain type of fullback. I think Sutherland fits that bill better than Muhelli. Check it out. Blier,Suey,Johnson,Rathmen,Kick,Taylor,Reeves,Garrison,Riggins,Schnell, And let’s not forget PODALACK. Later Duds!


March 18th, 2009
1:43 pm

That’s an intellegient comment…..


March 18th, 2009
1:43 pm

Pat Connors

March 18th, 2009
1:53 pm

Enter your comments here

Ramblin Wrecker

March 18th, 2009
1:54 pm

Outside of Stafford and Moreno (which do not represent needs), none of those players sound enticing to me for the Falcons. Why would the Falcons need Southerland? They have Ovie Mughelli at quite a hefty sum as well as Jason Snelling, who always looks like a nice punishing runner to me when I’ve seen him in the game.


March 18th, 2009
1:56 pm

Good job Dimitroff. You have to look at Georgia players. They have put some solid stars in the NFL and they are right in our backyard. We would be foolish not to investigate the talent at UGA and Georgia Tech. I am confident someone from these schools will be making some valuable contributions to the Falcons’ “ONE HEARTBEAT” this upcoming season. I can’t wait until we get resusitated and get on with the “PROCESS” of winning a Super Bowl for the city of Atlanta and Georgia in “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!!!!”.

Let’s get on with the “PROCESS!!”.

This is a SECRET from a FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Falcon Devil

March 18th, 2009
2:24 pm

“Deep down, the Falcons would love to draft another whitey QB like Stafford just so they can cut DJ Shockley.”

This might just be the most retarded statement I’ve ever heard on a blog… which says alot. This comment is stupid on several levels. For starters no one would ever draft Stafford as a backup. Second the only reason Shockley is on the roster is because he went to UGA and people in GA love him for that reason alone. Third if the Falcons wanted to cut him they could in a heartbeat, they don’t need to draft a QB in the first round to justify cutting a scrubby 3rd stringer. 4th you are calling the Falcon organization racist, which is complete baseless and history would prove the opposite. You know absolutley nothing about football, the falcons, or the real world which you obviously do not live in.

Atlanta Jackets

March 18th, 2009
2:30 pm

I think the Robot, Josh Nesbot would look great in a Falcons uniform next season. He would back up Ryan and run out of the Wild Cat formation!!

Reno 911

March 18th, 2009
2:34 pm

I thought we already had a fullback.


March 18th, 2009
2:46 pm

I don’t see them taking any of them unless they slide. I have a feeling they will all be drafted too high. For example, Asher will go in the 4th, but probably should go in the 5th.

Now I sound like Mel Kiper, bottomline: all players drafted will be selected between the 1st and 255th pick.

'ol sport

March 18th, 2009
3:17 pm

I cannot believe that any true Dawg would fail to realize that Southerland is “short yardage dependable” and an absolute blocking purist. In addition, he represents every thing that is fine in our young people today. This is not to slight the others, but for someone (”Ramblin Wrecker”) to ask the question “why would the Falcons take Southerland when they have Mughelli is just plain sad. Considering the alleged source, however, it is not surprising.


March 18th, 2009
3:22 pm

lookout for jeremy lomax possibly making a good showing as linebacker for an nfl team


March 18th, 2009
3:25 pm

Agree with you I.Mus and gp, Asher Allen would be a good pick up in, say round 5 or so. Round 4 might be a little of a stretch, because I’ve been witnessed these guys first hand in Athens since they came in as freshmen. Allen had a great sophomore year, but dropped off a good bit this year (even though some of that can be attributed to the atrocious Defensive End lack of pass rush). He did, however, get burnt occasionally this past year, particularly in the Alabama and Florida games. He’s tough, hard nosed player that would be an excellent addition to our locker room.

Brannan Southerland is an absolute stud! He was the moment he stepped on the field as a True Freshman. He was absolutely automatic around the goal-line. He has an amazing work ethic and was one of the big-time leaders on offense (hate to say it, but more of a leader than Stafford in my opinion). It will be tough to argue drafting Brannan when we already have Ovie, but if we could grab him with one of our 2nd 5th round picks and we’ve filled needs to that point, I say pull the trigger. He was a great asset in the passing game as well. He could take a screen pass almost the distance by using his blockers and running behind his pads with ferocity. Would look great in a Falcons uniform, and that would mean Snelling would be out the door because I know my man from Tucker, Thomas Brown, will come back with a vengeance and make the squad.

On Dannell Ellerbe, I wish him the best, but I have to totally disagree. He disappeared this year after being on the cover of SI. He had one good year and has had problems with getting benched early on. I’m sure he’s improved since, but as a senior he was not the heart and soul of the defense: that title belongs to Rennie Curran. I just can’t see them justifying drafting Ellerbe when we have Lofton and Tony Gilbert as a backup. He is no OLB either by the way. Wish him the best because he’s a Dawg, but not right for us.

Good stuff, DOL. I do have a serious question though: Not tryin’ to hate on the Bird Babe, but guys like Ken, Stirg, Ray, or Reno, for example, could do great things with the “Falcons Fan Blog,” compared to a couple of sentences every couple of months. Just asking. By comparison, Bill King’s blog for UGA gets heavy hits.

Reno, good to see you back man.


March 18th, 2009
3:26 pm

I watched some film on Evander “Ziggy” Hood and this guy is a beast. A pass rushing DT that is stout against the run. Great numbers at the combine and better at Pro day. Sounds like an every down tackle which is what we need.

Voice of Reason

March 18th, 2009
3:40 pm

We don’t need Josh Nesbitt to come to the Falcons and ensure more fumbles. Keep Josh “the fumblin Robot” Nesbitt far away from the Falcons please!


March 18th, 2009
3:52 pm

Southerland could potentially be a real steal in this draft. Even though he’s had some recent injury problems and never got on track his senior season, someone with his drive and physicality could really contribute at a high level if given the chance. He would definitely be a “value” pick.


March 18th, 2009
3:55 pm

I agree with GeoffDawg that Southerland has a ton of potential and could be a steal for whoever drafts him, but it won’t be the Falcons. Having given Mughelli the biggest fullback contract in history, and just resigned Snelling (and clearly liking him, since it was a surprise to the casual observer how much they used him last year), no way do they use a pick on a fullback.


March 18th, 2009
4:13 pm

I agree with GeoffDawg. Southerland will be a steal for any team. People overlook him but I think UGA’s offensive production went up some crazy % when he was the FB versus when he was injured this year. He’s a great blocker and made some pretty key plays while he was a dawg. I think his first play back from injury in 2008 was a touchdown haha. I would love to see him as a falcon but I don’t know if I see that happening.

Casa de Thrill

March 18th, 2009
4:17 pm

If Southerland gets out of the Second Round he’s a steal. He is the reason why the fullback position in on the rebound in the NFL. Try to find another fullback who jumps 38 inches and is stronger than Southerland, goodluck you won’t bc he was the first created. By the way, I heard a rumor he favors Dale Jr.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 18th, 2009
4:26 pm

RENO: Welcome back. They need to improve their short yardage game — third, fourth and 1. That should be automatic. Was only 75 percent last season.

D3: I work here and don’t know who the Bird Babe is. There are some good bloggers out there that’s for sure. Stirg had a really good DE breakdown.

CASADETHRILL: Southerland is not going to be picked in the first two rounds. He might even go undrafted and you can him as an undrafted free agent.


March 18th, 2009
4:35 pm

Asher Allen is over-rated. For 3 years people have raved over this guy and i have never figured out why. He’s fast… he’s a good interview… every once in a while he’ll lay a good hit for someone his size (5′9″-190ish). But overall at Georgia, there was always a 10 yard cushion between he and the receiver. He has the “hardnose” mantality but he rarely backs it up.

Dennell Ellerbe: Over-rated. He intercepted a pass from Jared Zabranski in the 2005 Boise State game. Ever since then I haven’t seen him do anything special. He’s going to have a lot of tackles (he’s a linebacker) but he always has a problem seperating from a blocks. Plus, he’s slow and always looks out of gased compared to others. I would take Rennie Curran over Ellerbe anyday despite Curran’s size

Massaquoi: Under-rated. If he has a good QB (Matt Stafford: Matt Ryan) and a solid set of receivers around him (Georgia: Falcons) he can be a dependable receiver. His senior year was his best year. He’s not a #1 receiver but he’s also not a 7th round 220th pick. I would compare him to Reggie Brown


March 18th, 2009
4:35 pm

I agree with GeoffDawg – thanks guys, just wanted to keep the streak going.


March 18th, 2009
4:45 pm

Draft Sutherland, healthy, he is a machine.


March 18th, 2009
4:46 pm

And by the way, I agree with GeoffDawg agreeing with DawgGirl agreeing with GeoffDawg.


March 18th, 2009
4:59 pm

Mighty agreeable of you Cuz.


March 18th, 2009
5:08 pm

Let me start by saying I’m a GT guy, but i would take Southerland in a heartbeat… definitely a stud.

But I didnt realize that when the Falcons signed Ovie in 2007 that it was a 6 year deal… talk about committing.

That sucks. That’d probably be a tough contract to move.

Harry Rand

March 18th, 2009
5:12 pm

As I stated before, Southerland would fill the teams need at TE from the second round instead of using the no. 1 on a TE.He’s got great hands,runs well and everyone knows how well he blocks.

Casa de Thrill

March 18th, 2009
5:26 pm

D ORLANDO LEDBETTER: You need to jump on the Southerland train because it has already left the station

Falcon 8211

March 18th, 2009
6:09 pm

we don’t need asher allen. he is not tall enough to match up with the big receviers in the nfl. the last small corner we drafted due to ball skills and speed was the famous MEangelo.


March 18th, 2009
6:13 pm

Can we talk about something else. The only person that excites me coming out of UGA is Moreno and we won’t draft him. I don’t think

UGA recruits: Pay attention to your fanbase

March 18th, 2009
6:47 pm

Is it any surprise that all of the “Dawg” fans are gushing about the many “talents” of Southerland while talking down about Asher Allen. Saying that Allen should not have come out because he’s over-rated and in the same post saying that Southerland is a stud (nevermind that he can’t stay healthy and won’t get drafted). Boy, y’all must get the DUMBEST recruits year-end and year-out. It happens every year with the UGA fanbase. Southerland is a bum and will be sitting on Buck Belue’s lap this time next year as a radio intern. Asher Allen will have a decent career in the NFL, maybe some longevity.


March 18th, 2009
7:02 pm

Casa De Thrill-

You mean jump OFF the train? No way in hedge fund we draft effin Sutherland. “Oh My” Mughelli would knock the shift key out of that junior. Half the reason Mr. Turner rocked so hard last season was due in part to the blocking from Ovie. You dont have to score alot of TD’s and gain alot of yardage to be a killer fullback.

“Oh My” Will be here for a long time…..


March 18th, 2009
7:03 pm

I.Mus, like your draft picks a lot. The only small part where I might change it a little is your second scenario. I think Delmas and Sean Smith are too high at #24. I know we could wait and get Smith in the second round, and maybe Delmas gets drafted in the first, but there’s no guarantee. Like your idea of gettin Maybin, but I think English is more of a prototypical 3-4 OLB/DE. Seems a little too big for a 4-3 OLB. Not sure that Coffman and Ingram will slip to the 4th, but who knows. The problem is that, even though there are a ton of solid TE’s, if they go on a run in the second, they may not be there in the 3rd.

Cutter, if you’re right on Hood I’d say grab him. I guess he just seems a little smaller than your typical DT. Do you think he is #24 material?

Geoff, agreed on Southerland. He will be a steal and I think he’s the best FB in the draft. If its true that we just re-signed Snelling than we could forget that dream anyway. Hopefully, Snelling can turn into our short yardage guy if Ovie can’t do it.

Lambert, agreed on Ellerbe. I never really thought he was the best or even second best of the bunch we’ve had over the years. Wouldn’t make sense for us drafting him at MLB anyway, b/c he can’t play OLB. Have to disagree a little with Allen. He had a great year year before last, and a down year again. But he would be another small CB, which we already have Grimes and Irons.

Scenario A:
1)Matthews/Maybin-OLB 2)Chung/S.Smith-SS
3)Cook/Nelson-TE 4)Hill/Pryor-DT

Scenario B:
1)Pettigrew-TE 2)Brace/Hood-DT


March 18th, 2009
7:04 pm

Besides; Ovie learned from the best….

darrell starks

March 18th, 2009
7:08 pm

Southerland would be and excellent pick for the falcons in the 5thround, TD no offensive draft pick in the first 4rounds we need defense bad never have we had a dominating defense in the history of this franchise. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


March 18th, 2009
7:27 pm

It will be a sad day if Matthew Stafford gets drafted 1st overall…….No way it happens. I see him landing in Seattle….


March 18th, 2009
7:47 pm

Better watch out tryin’ to jump on DOL.

TheManMike what’s up? Not a fan of Stafford? Honestly, being a UGA grad and hardcore fan, he’s not ready mentally or emotionally, IMHO. He’s as gifted as any QB to come through, but he seemed to lack that fire and innate leadership quality other QB’s like our own Matty Ice, Flacco, or even Tim Tebow. I think Seattle would be a much better spot for him, honestly. But, remember who would be his head coach, Jim “ridin w/ Meangelo in his Ferrari” Mora. Love the “shift key” phrase.

D.Starks, agree on defense-heavy opinion, but I think we’ll have to spend at least a 4th to get a stud TE, maybe even a 3rd. Cook/Nelson/Ingram/or Coffman. I think we should pass on Casey.


March 18th, 2009
8:14 pm

D3- Hood is right at 6′3 300, not exactly small by any measure but I think if you look look at his body of work and his combine stats this guy has the potential to be very good. He fits cover 2 scheme. Bench 225lb 35 times, vertical 35.5 this guy reminds me of a bigger Warren Sapp. DEFENSE


March 18th, 2009
8:58 pm

Allen, Massaquoi, Ellerbee